Bookkeepers Bedford Bedfordshire (MK40): For any person in Bedford who acts as a sole trader, runs a small business or operates an online store, it is their sole responsibility to keep "true and fair", accurate accounting and financial records for a minimum of 6 years. This is laid out by the 2006 Companies Act. You may face thousands of pounds in fines, and possibly Company Director disqualification, if you cannot produce such records. According to the magazine Accounting Today over forty percent of small businesses spend over 80 hours annually doing their bookkeeping activities, therefore whilst you can complete these financial records on your own behalf, it is often better to employ a professional accountant or bookkeeping service to do them instead.
If you're filled with a sense of panic just thinking about the possiblility of filling out ledgers, tracking liabilities and assets, compiling balance sheets or preparing profit, loss and financial statements, then the time to contact a bookkeeper in Bedford for help and advice has arrived.
BOOKKEEPER OR ACCOUNTANT?
Just what is the distinction between an accountant and a bookkeeper is the first question that springs to mind for most people in Bedford. The reality is that whilst in the past the bookkeeping process, was regarded as beneath the skill-sets, qualifications and experience of an accountant, due to tremendous improvements in software over the past decade or so, most accountancy firms in the Bedford area will now take on bookkeeping. For many accountancy firms it is now common practice to charge a set fee for bookkeeping services, so that they're comparable to the usual fees of a dedicated bookkeeper in Bedford. Since it offers a wider variety of competition within the marketplace, this is fantastic news for small business owners in Bedford, making their bookkeeping costs far more affordable than they previously were.
The standard of qualification and training required is the biggest difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper. Usually holding an accounting degree, a professional accountant will also have had training in tax essentials and additional qualifications in business and fiscal management. A bookkeeper in Bedford may not necessarily have the same levels of training and experience, or hold these qualifications, but should still have a fair grasp of these fiscal procedures.
A BOOKKEEPER'S RESPONSIBILITIES
To explain in the simplest of forms, bookkeeping involves the recording of daily fiscal transactions of any business in Bedford. This will likely include, but is in no way limited to;
- Recording the receipt of invoices and ensuring payment is completed promptly.
- Payroll services.
- Monthly reporting and reconciliations.
- Billing of customers for goods or work completed.
- Recording of all financial incomings; including cash, card and electronic payments.
- Highlighting any discrepancies in financial accounts and rectifying them.
- Making sure that double-entry bookkeeping and accounting practices are implemented.
- VAT recording and submissions.
Whilst it is dependent on the type of service you are interested in, if you are happy to do the majority of bookkeeping work yourself, a bookkeeper might only be needed to periodically double-check your figures. To allow for any mistakes or problems to be found and amended swiftly, this needs to be on a monthly basis at the bare minimum. If it's possible to stay in control of your everyday trading and financial transactions, this trade-off can sometimes be the most cost-effective option.
Whatever the circumstances are with your business, if you are currently considering hiring a bookkeeper in Bedford, there is a fair chance that you might be stressed with the process of financial recording and taxes. A good bookkeeping company will help you with everything from creating expense reports, stocktaking and invoicing, to linking your business accounts with the latest software to seamlessly of all your transaction information.
The effective reconciliation of cash flow with accounts payable is one of the most vital aspects of good bookkeeping practice. Which means that rather than waiting for a final notice, which many small businesses in Bedford are guilty of doing, or paying a bill immediately, your bookkeeper will organise bill payments to a time when your accounts are buoyant and in good order. This does not just keep your business on a secure financial footing, but keeps you in the good books of suppliers and those people who provide you with services. Sadly, this is just one of those balancing acts that can be tough to accomplish when you are focussed on the smooth running of your daily business operation.
Employing a professional bookkeeper in Bedford, if you are a sole trader, or for your small business also gives them the opportunity to cast an eagle eye over your business. This unbiased appraisal can permit them to discover business patterns and trends that you may have disregarded. A situation where a smart bookkeeper flags up an area where profits are dropping, or spots a new opportunity that may be worthwhile, is by no means an unusual occurrence. Spotting such key performance indicators (KPI's) is vital for ensuring the growth of any enterprise in Bedford.
It can sometimes be uncomfortable to pursue a late payment if your company gives out invoices. Having an individual from outside your normal business bubble, can take away the apprehension of making that telephone call or visit to your client. There are legal solutions that a bookkeeper can use, if you've got problems with a repeating late payer, and these can help to clear up the issue before the situation ends up in a small claims court.
SOLE TRADER'S BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
As a sole trader the requirements for bookkeeping, as laid out by law, are quite straightforward. It's stated that a sole trader must keep records of expenditure and income on a monthly basis and retain all invoices and receipts. Even though this might initially sound easy, retaining the services of a competent bookkeeper is still a wise move. Advising you on what legitimate business expenses you might be able to claim back, a dedicated sole trader bookkeeper in Bedford will deal with HMRC on your behalf. This may include printer ink, rent and bills if working from home, stationery, advertising expenses and items such as computers. Speak to your local bookkeeper for more comprehensive advice and see how they might help your business grow.
Certain small businesses that operate in niche areas, may need to employ a specialist bookkeeper. You'll require a bookkeeper in Bedford who is familiar with online payment procedures, multi-currency processing, international and cross-border taxes and exchange rate transfers, if you run a store online for example. As the internet does not sleep, if the same shop sells goods that you hold or produce then regulating your stock on a 24/7 basis is an important concern which will have to be dealt with.
In conjunction with bookkeeping services, a virtual office can also be supplied. This allows an online only business or sole trader to provide a physical connection to their customers, via a postal address and phone service. Although this solution might not be supplied by all bookkeeping businesses in Bedford, it is certainly worth discussing the possibilities if this service is something that could be advantageous.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
Many of the qualifications in the bookkeeping sector are at Diploma and Certificate level, and a certified Bedford bookkeeper does not need to hold a degree. Although there are an ever-growing choice of online courses available, bookkeeping qualifications can still be obtained through further education universities and colleges, if that's the preferred route.
Bookkeepers are represented by 2 primary training and certification organisations:
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB): The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers or ICB is the largest in the world and supplies certification for qualified bookkeepers, together with reference material and training to keep their members up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations.
The AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians): The Association of Accounting Technicians or AAT provides advanced qualifications and training entitling a fully trained bookkeeper to use the letters AATQB. They can then become certified AAT bookkeepers, backed up by this respected association, which assures a minimum standard of service for their customers. To preserve the credibility of the AAT, an AAT bookkeeper can be subject to disciplinary and tribunal procedures if it's found that they've contravened the code of conduct or had a complaint against them.
By visiting their websites, you are able to inspect the qualifications of any professional bookkeeper on the register of AAT or ICB members. Before hiring the services of any local bookkeeper in Bedford it is advisable to implement this check.
Outsourced Bookkeeping Bedford
All businesses in Bedford should understand the significance of bookkeeping. It helps business people monitor the money left in their bank account, the total value of their liabilities and assets, their payables/receivables, and the like. With the owner of the business having to handle the concerns and issues of running a business, the task of undertaking the bookkeeping is usually outsourced to a bookkeeping company or freelance bookkeepers in Bedford.
If a company in Bedford employs a bookkeeper in order to become an employee, the company will need to fork out a considerable sum of money in training the individual for the purpose of working on the bookkeeping tasks. On top of that, there's no guarantee that he or she will stay after the training is completed. In circumstances like that, the company will have thrown away a considerable amount of money. Besides that, firms will need to seek out ways and means to offer incentives and benefits to keep the trained employee within the company. These are just a handful of the reasons why business organisations often enlist the services of professional bookkeepers and bookkeeping companies in Bedford.
VAT Returns in Bedford
A bookkeeper based in Bedford can offer small business owners a reliable and time-saving solution for their VAT returns, freeing them up to concentrate on other important aspects of their business. When you engage a bookkeeper, they can manage every detail of your VAT return, such as computing your VAT liability or refund, preparing and submitting your return to HMRC, and maintaining precise records of your transactions. In addition, a bookkeeper can offer you useful advice on ways to minimize your VAT obligation and ensure that you are claiming all the eligible VAT that you are entitled to. Having a bookkeeper by your side can provide you with peace of mind, as you can trust that your VAT returns are being processed accurately and efficiently, allowing you to concentrate on growing your business in Bedford.
Financial statement preparation - article 211.
Bedford Bookkeeper Tasks
Most bookkeepers in Bedford will be ready to offer you the following accounting and bookkeeping services: independent bookkeeping services, bookkeeping services for startups in Bedford, cash flow analysis Bedford, financial statement preparation, bookkeeping services for sole traders in Bedford, management accounts, charity bookkeeping Bedford, professional bookkeeping services Bedford, bookkeeping services for pubs Bedford, wages & PAYE, Xero bookkeeping, bookkeeping for payroll Bedford, Sage bookkeeping, landlord bookkeeping, bookkeeping services for freelancers in Bedford, mobile bookkeeping services, bookkeeping services, Self-Assessment tax returns, tax preparation, bookkeeping for societies Bedford, bookkeeping for small businesses, invoice processing, Kashflow bookkeeping, bookkeeping services for clubs Bedford, partnership tax returns Bedford, maintaining fixed asset registers in Bedford, Quickbook bookkeeping, assistance with registering for self-employment in Bedford, bookkeeping quotations in Bedford, bookkeeping for limited companies Bedford, and more. These are just a handful of the tasks that are conducted by local bookkeepers. Bedford professionals will tell you about their whole range of services. If there happen to be other Bedford bookkeeper requirements that you need but can't see here, you can mention them on the QUOTE FORM provided. We will be in touch with specifics just as soon as we can.
Bookkeepers Near Bedford
Also find: Shortstown bookkeepers, Stagsden bookkeepers, Brickhill bookkeepers, Wixams bookkeepers, Stevington bookkeepers, Biddenham bookkeepers, Fenlake bookkeepers, Cotton End bookkeepers, Cardington bookkeepers, South End bookkeepers, Harrowden bookkeepers, Elstow bookkeepers, Goldington bookkeepers, Cople bookkeeper and more. All of these locations are served by local bookeepers. Bedford businesses can get fees for bookkeeping services by going here.
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